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SAMM Clan

Garmin Montana - tips and tricks

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If you are like me, then you have figured out how bad the Montana's manual is and you have figured out most things by trial and error. I thought that it might be good to have a thread with tips and tricks for things that are not obvious or may help improve your use of the Montana.

 

For example, I have a large number of geocaches on my device and found that when using the recreational profile these geocaches cluttered my map. To get rid of these, you need to Go to map setup > advanced setup and turn off User Waypoints.

 

Another great place to start is to read TrailTech's post on "the need for speed" which gives an overview on the customizability and some great ideas on how to get the most of your Montana. The post can be found here:

http://garmin.blogs.com/softwareupdates/2011/09/the-need-for-speed.html

 

So, please feel free to leave some tips, tricks, and even details of how you set up your favourite shortcuts :-)

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Map enable/disable shortcuts allows me to toggle birdseye, topo's, and street maps with a single tap of the screen. Cumbersome at best with the Oregon series, I find myself toggling maps quite frequently over the course of a day in the field. I didn't with my Oregon and 62 because it was such a pain.

Edited by yogazoo
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It may have been in the manual, but as noted, it is pretty lame. I use my Montana mostly for geocaching, but some hiking as well. I used to have to go through many steps in order to get the routing to a cache (automobile, pedetrian, direct, etc...). Once I hit go on the cache it automatically prompts now. To do so, go to setup > routing > activity AND Calculation Method. Choose prompted for both and you'll be given the option to determine how you want to go to the cache as well as whether you want to minimize time or distance.

 

Anyone have any idea of how to have the Montana switch Activity as you near your destination, i.e. automobile driving to direct routing?

Edited by coachstahly
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For micromanaging tracks - ie. building maps of previously unmarked trails for hiking or mtn biking, I have 2 shortcuts set up on my Favorites dashboard (which is set as my Status page):

 

Shortcut 1 = "Start new track" where you choose "Edit" > "Setup", and then the following options:

-"Track Log" > "turn record on"

-"Clear current track" (at bottom of choices)

-"Reset Trip Data" (also at bottom of choices)

 

Shortcut 2 = "Stop and save track" where you choose "Edit" > "Setup" > "Track Log" > "turn record off", and then under "Application" choose "Track Manager"

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If you are like me, then you have figured out how bad the Montana's manual is and you have figured out most things by trial and error. I thought that it might be good to have a thread with tips and tricks for things that are not obvious or may help improve your use of the Montana.

 

For example, I have a large number of geocaches on my device and found that when using the recreational profile these geocaches cluttered my map. To get rid of these, you need to Go to map setup > advanced setup and turn off User Waypoints.

 

Another great place to start is to read TrailTech's post on "the need for speed" which gives an overview on the customizability and some great ideas on how to get the most of your Montana. The post can be found here:

http://garmin.blogs.com/softwareupdates/2011/09/the-need-for-speed.html

 

So, please feel free to leave some tips, tricks, and even details of how you set up your favourite shortcuts :-)

 

Are you running 3.60? I haven't upgraded from 3.40 from fear of something not working. I can't find the option for turning off waypoints in my advanced map setup. That would be a very cool option. Also everyone mentions the "Manual". Where do you get the manual? I've gone through two units, but neither came with a manual. That sure would be helpful as I've been just winging it for months. Thanks.

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I figured out the shutting off the user waypoint problem, finally found it under the zoom levels. Still would like to know about the "Manual".

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I figured out the shutting off the user waypoint problem, finally found it under the zoom levels. Still would like to know about the "Manual".

 

When you plug in the montana using the usb cable, look at the montana using your finder (mac) or file explorer (windows). There should be a folder called documents, which is full of pdfs of the manual in different languages. However, you are really not missing much by not reading the manual.

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I figured out the shutting off the user waypoint problem, finally found it under the zoom levels. Still would like to know about the "Manual".

 

When you plug in the montana using the usb cable, look at the montana using your finder (mac) or file explorer (windows). There should be a folder called documents, which is full of pdfs of the manual in different languages. However, you are really not missing much by not reading the manual.

 

Thanks, i'll give it a look over.

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Expanding the "Tides" section of "Where To?":

 

The Garmin Montana comes with information from tide buoys in the US. If you go to "Where To?" > "Tides" and select a location, then on the map area that has the buoy marker and the "Go" button, you can see the tide chart for that location by selecting the listing at the top of the map screen (just like if you wanted info on a geocache when geocaching).

 

The problem is that the base map of buoys is limited to the US. If you want an expanded set of buoys - ie you live in Canada, then you need to get a bigger buoy map. Garmin produces a free map of expanded tide locations in north america. Unfortunately, it's buried in the depths of the Garmin website. I have simply adapted the process that was described for older units to get the expanded map of buoys on the Montana so I can not claim ingenuity or originality regarding this process.

 

First go to here:

http://www8.garmin.com/support/download_details.jsp?product=010-00199-00

 

and download the free windows installer of the GPSMAP 168 Sounder "Download Recommended MapSource US Tides Software" (5.13 mb). Install into Mapsource. Apparently this will only work if you already have an authorized Garmin Map product (doesn't matter which one). Then in Mapsource, select "GPS MAP 162/168 Tide Points" from the Map dropdown menu and choose which of the 3 tide maps to install (All 3 only take up 168 kb). These will be installed as a regular Garmin map so be careful not to overwrite your existing maps on the device. Then you will now have the expanded list of tide locations in north america.

 

If you use a Mac, the process is more complicated (as I spent 2 hours discovering through trial and error myself). The GPSMAP 168 Sounder tide installer does NOT come in a Mac version, so you need to mapconvert it from a windows box or parallels. This will produce a "168 Tide Points.gmapi" file. Normally, you can install .gmapi files on the Mac using the Garmin MapManager app, but in this case, the MapManager will NOT install the "168 Tide Points.gmapi". I have no idea why, but you can instead manually install the converted map by:

 

1. Selecting the "168 Tide Points.gmapi" in finder, right clicking, and choosing "Show package contents"

2. A new finder window will open up with a folder called "GPSMAP 162"

3. Open this folder and you will see a file called "168 Tide Points.gmap" <---note that the "i" is now gone

4. Drag this file into "your username folder" > Library > Application Support > Garmin > Maps

5. Open MapInstall.app, select "GPS MAP 162/168 Tide Points" from the Map dropdown menu and choose which of the 3 tide maps to install (All 3 only take up 168 kb). These will be installed as a regular Garmin map so be careful not to overwrite your existing maps on the device.

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Like many Montana owners, I'be been searching for a good carrying case. I've found a nice once to attach to my pack shoulder strap, item #0102 from Maxpedition. At $30 it's not cheap, but it works well and is well constructed.

 

DaveInWNC

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Like many Montana owners, I'be been searching for a good carrying case. I've found a nice once to attach to my pack shoulder strap, item #0102 from Maxpedition. At $30 it's not cheap, but it works well and is well constructed.

 

DaveInWNC

I'm using a Lowepro Tahoe 30 case and wearing it on my belt. It's a little tight, but fits and protects the GPS if you happen to drop it. $11 at BestBuy:

 

Click Here for Best Buy

Edited by wa2n
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Run WebUpdater to get the update.

 

New "Help File" update will place a menu option for "Help" in every setup screen. It explains every setting in detail. Very nice feature that should have been implemented a long time ago. Especially helpful for people like my dad who is a little challenged in GPS operation and lingo.

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A few screen shots of the new feature. It seems like Garmin may need to address a bit of formatting, as some of the descriptions overlap a bit, but overall a nice help for many.

 

1318467820.jpg1318467909.jpg1318467964.jpg

Edited by yogazoo
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A few screen shots of the new feature. It seems like Garmin may need to address a bit of formatting, as some of the descriptions overlap a bit, but overall a nice help for many.

 

Nice feature indeed. The overlapping also occurs in other languages than English, so it's not language specific (unlike the one they had the other day with the geocache description).

 

Here is another thing I discovered (maybe it is known already): when the device is booting-up, touching the screen a few times will bring up reset-mode. I haven't tried what will be reset then, but maybe it is to escape from a boot-loop (discovered it will rubbing the screen to clean it while the device was booting).

Edited by taeke
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Shortcut 1 = "Start new track" where you choose "Edit" > "Setup", and then the following options:

-"Track Log" > "turn record on"

-"Clear current track" (at bottom of choices)

-"Reset Trip Data" (also at bottom of choices)

 

I've got the same, but added Application "Map" at the bottom, so it goes straight into the map screen.

Edited by JoeGriffin
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Edit startup.txt in Garmin folder to display a custom message on bootup screen....I put my name and phone number in case I lose my GPS and someone would want to contact me. I gave it a 30 second pause to give plenty of time to read...the pause can be overridden by touching the screen.

 

 

 

.

Edited by rws
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Edit startup.txt in Garmin folder to display a custom message on bootup screen....I put my name and phone number in case I lose my GPS and someone would want to contact me. I gave it a 30 second pause to give plenty of time to read...the pause can be overridden by touching the screen.

 

Although it says "Put your message on the next line", you can use multiple lines. I've put my name on the first line and phone number on the second, so it doesn't get split in an inappropriate place.

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Edit startup.txt in Garmin folder to display a custom message on bootup screen....I put my name and phone number in case I lose my GPS and someone would want to contact me. I gave it a 30 second pause to give plenty of time to read...the pause can be overridden by touching the screen.

 

Although it says "Put your message on the next line", you can use multiple lines. I've put my name on the first line and phone number on the second, so it doesn't get split in an inappropriate place.

 

up to 5 lines/40 characters per line (including spaces) will display properly in the portrait position.

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Thank-you everyone for adding your tips so far - they are great contributions. I thought I would add instructions for customizing the "vehicle" shown on the map (the Montana release thread clearly shows some confusion regarding this process).

 

First you need to get a customized vehicle. Here are some links:

-"Garmin Garage": http://www8.garmin.com/vehicles/

-"Custom Vehicle Factory": http://www.vehiclesforgarminnuvi.com/

- http://www.gpspassion.com/forumsen/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=78125&whichpage=1 (many, many pages of a thread with vehicles in it)

 

Simply download the vehicle you want. It will be in a ".srf" file. Connect your Montana to your computer using the usb cable and use your finder (mac) or file explorer (win) to open the Montana as you would a regular USB drive. Open Garmin > Vehicles. Place the .srf file in that folder. Disconnect and turn your Montana on and for each profile, choose what vehicle you want under Map > Setup > Advanced Setup > Vehicle.

Edited by SAMM Clan
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Thank-you everyone for adding your tips so far - they are great contributions. I thought I would add instructions for customizing the "vehicle" shown on the map (the Montana release thread clearly shows some confusion regarding this process).

 

First you need to get a customized vehicle. Here are some links:

-"Garmin Garage": http://www8.garmin.com/vehicles/

-"Custom Vehicle Factory": http://www.vehiclesforgarminnuvi.com/

- http://www.gpspassion.com/forumsen/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=78125&whichpage=1 (many, many pages of a thread with vehicles in it)

 

Simply download the vehicle you want. It will be in a ".srf" file. Connect your Montana to your computer using the usb cable and use your finder (mac) or file explorer (win) to open the Montana as you would a regular USB drive. Open Garmin > Vehicles. Place the .srf file in that folder. Disconnect and turn your Montana on and for each profile, choose what vehicle you want under Map > Setup > Advanced Setup > Vehicle.

 

I downloaded the full vehicles bundle from Garmin and extract those *.srf files to Vehicles folder, but I have only 30 vehicles to choose from, including those came with the unit. So there is a limit of 30 vehicles?

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Like many Montana owners, I'be been searching for a good carrying case. I've found a nice once to attach to my pack shoulder strap, item #0102 from Maxpedition. At $30 it's not cheap, but it works well and is well constructed.

 

DaveInWNC

I'm using a Lowepro Tahoe 30 case and wearing it on my belt. It's a little tight, but fits and protects the GPS if you happen to drop it. $11 at BestBuy:

 

Click Here for Best Buy

 

Gizzmovest.com offers a very heavy duty case which completely encapsulates your Garmin Montana except for the screen which will be protected if you have a screen protector on it. It's very easy to place in and take out. It's zippered and comes with a heavy duty thin rope. I use a lanyard as well and it's great! It, however, will increase the size of the unit quite a bit but it's worth it for the protection. I bought two of them, one black and one desert color. Awesome!

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Like many Montana owners, I'be been searching for a good carrying case. I've found a nice once to attach to my pack shoulder strap, item #0102 from Maxpedition. At $30 it's not cheap, but it works well and is well constructed.

 

DaveInWNC

I'm using a Lowepro Tahoe 30 case and wearing it on my belt. It's a little tight, but fits and protects the GPS if you happen to drop it. $11 at BestBuy:

 

Click Here for Best Buy

 

Thanks for the tip on the Lowepro Tahoe 30 case. It is inexpensive & the fit & protection are very good.

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It may have been in the manual, but as noted, it is pretty lame. I use my Montana mostly for geocaching, but some hiking as well. I used to have to go through many steps in order to get the routing to a cache (automobile, pedetrian, direct, etc...). Once I hit go on the cache it automatically prompts now. To do so, go to setup > routing > activity AND Calculation Method. Choose prompted for both and you'll be given the option to determine how you want to go to the cache as well as whether you want to minimize time or distance.

 

Anyone have any idea of how to have the Montana switch Activity as you near your destination, i.e. automobile driving to direct routing?

 

After you have selected to route to cache, go to "Where To" and select change route activity.

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... Anyone have any idea of how to have the Montana switch Activity as you near your destination, i.e. automobile driving to direct routing?

 

After you have selected to route to cache, go to "Where To" and select change route activity.

 

I have a series of shortcuts to simplify this process, and achieve a smooth adventure thus:

 

(1) I have my GEOCACHING Profile set up with direct routing as default and select my destination.

(2) I return to the main menu and choose my <Nuvi View> shortcut, which changes to the AUTOMOTIVE Profile and automatically selects the map, with the following defaults: road maps, driving routing, Nuvi Dashboard, Landscape orientation etc. (this involves setting numerous fields at the Shortcut stage including Profile: Automotive, Application: MAP - which automatically displays the map in the nominated profile)

(3) As I near my destination, I return to the menu and select my <GEO View> shortcut, which changes me back to the GEOCACHING Profile and automatically selects the map, with defaults road/topo/whatever map, direct routing, geocaching dashboard, autorotate orientation, etc.

 

I also have a couple of shortcuts on a side menu to swap between Autorotate and Lock Portrait (because I hate my screen spinning as I walk!), toggle the chirp function, others to swap between On Road and Direct routing in case the profile forgets/changes, and others to Clear Track, Reset Trip, and STOP navigation, and more ...

 

Sean

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I discover myself toggling charts quite regularly over the course of a day in the area. I didn't with my Modifies name and 62 because it was such a discomfort . . . . . . . . .

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A great site for Montana tips and tricks and factory stuff as well, lots to see there. He also has wikis for other garmin units and basecamp.

 

http://garminmontanagpsr.wikispaces.com/

 

Have been there since my last posting and picked up some great tips - going to alter my abovementioned shortcuts to better suit!

 

It also helped me recover from a bad firmware upgrade from 4.70 to 4.90 with good instructions on how to revert to the earlier firmware ...

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